Targets and Terror

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A gunman shot and killed the mayor of Ecuador’s third-largest city this week, the latest attack to rock the country’s political establishment and only a month before general elections, the Associated Press reported.

The Mayor of Manta, Agustín Intriago, and another individual were killed Sunday when an unknown gunman fired at them. Authorities said four more people were wounded, including two suspects.

The gunman, however, escaped. The motive for the shooting remains unclear, officials added.

Manta, a city close to the Pacific coast, has been used by gangs to move large shipments of narcotics to other parts of the Americas and Europe.

The assassination took place as Ecuador has been grappling with violent crime that the government believes is driven by power struggles among criminal gangs over drug trafficking, Reuters noted.

In May, gunmen targeted the mayor of the city of Duran. Although the mayor survived, the attack killed a policeman and injured a number of others.

On Sunday, authorities said a clash between rival gang members in a prison in Guayaquil left five inmates dead and 11 others injured. The violence began on Saturday afternoon and continued into the early hours of Sunday, with nearby residents hearing gunshots and explosions.

The Latin American nation is preparing for early general elections on Aug. 20.

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